Burn, Baby Burn: America and The Burning of Books and Ideas

John Greco Author/Photographer

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I recently watched HBO’s remake of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 starring Michael Jordan and Michael Shannon. The film got me thinking about our political climate today and the suppression of ideas that do not coincide with the company line. It made me think about how close we are to this incendiary topic becoming a reality.

Fahrenheit 451 was written in the early 1950s during the McCarthy witch hunts, a point in time when the author feared America reached a point where the burning of ‘subversive’ literature was more than a slight possibility. The book focuses on an American society in the near future where owning a book is a crime. ‘Firemen’ are employed to burn any books found.

When I came across the book cover of the edition pictured above, I thought how simple, yet powerfully effective it was. The title with the ‘1’ replaced by a matchstick. That one…

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